Wisdom comes from dirty hands

by | Nov 1, 2017 | Editorial

Opinions are like… elbows. Everyone has a couple. Is that how the saying goes?
It sure seems like it on social media where you can read lengthy pontification on anything you care to know about, and even things you didn’t want to know about. And it’s often from someone who wouldn’t know their elbow from a hole in the ground when it comes to the subject they’re pontificating on. Mental health, race issues, media, all branches of science — everyone seems to be an expert nowadays. Even folks that flunked high school history will tell you how you need a history lesson.
With this new vehicle for projection, the most arrogant of opinions have somehow become confused with empirical fact through pure promotion. The near-perfect democracy of Facebook and Twitter has given a platform to everyone, and a large following often leads to delusional thinking from social media stars. Because, of course, if a lot of people are following me I’ve gotta be right, right?
Such is the mindset of the lead lemming.
What troubles me most about this is the irresponsibility — the gross irresponsibility — from those with a following, and the utter lack of wisdom on display. Ironically, wisdom is what they claim to be peddling… uh, I mean sharing.
But wisdom doesn’t holler from the stage. It’s not branded. It’s not trying to sell you something. Wisdom whispers with a quiet dignity and humble words. Wisdom seeks truth not dogma. Wisdom is earned not self-appointed.
There was a time, not that long ago, when expertise was respected, when experience and intelligence as opposed to “likes” and “friends” was the formula for sagacity. There was a time when the only way you could know the mountain was to climb the mountain. And if you wanted to know how pecans were grown you asked the pecan farmer. In this issue, we asked the pecan farmer.
Paul and Caroline Foshee have been growing pecans since long before everyone had a profile picture. They’ve learned how to do it right through trial and error, lots of sweat and sore muscles, and lots of pecans. They carry quiet wisdom on their shoulders. And you know when they speak about fertilizer or trees or making a living in the river bottoms just off Highway 64 with the hope of an autumn harvest, they know what they’re talking about.
They’ve got the pecan-stained hands to prove it.

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